Packaging is more than just a wrap on our favorite products, it’s more of a story that tells us what is this thing we’re buying is about, it sums up what a brand wants to tell and what feelings that should be shared with its customer.
The procedures of selecting how a package will look like and what material are to be used is rather complex than just a selection of different items which is the rule of a marketer based on research and hours of work, so packaging does have a huge impact on our day to day life, and does have a huge share in the process of selecting what are we going to consume.
Lately with the increased awareness towards the environment and with the knowledge we now have the procedure of selecting a packaging is becoming more complex on brands and specially marketers.
Now we do know how plastic for example does have a huge negative impact on the environment as it does not fully decompose and the process of it transforming to another form could take up to 450 years and even recycling wouldn’t be so efficient since not all types of plastic are recyclable such as plastic bags.
environmentally conscious materials and chemicals processing a book by Myer Kutz that focuses on more environment friendly approaches of processing materials and chemicals, in its 9th chapter Eva Pongracz a researcher from the university Oulu, Finland did discuss the impact of packaging on the environment, and she discussed further on the indirect impact of packaging through its production process of using raw materials, wasting both natural and energy resources, and the toxic fumes that does emerge because of this process.
So brands today have to make a decision on what is the best materials to be used in their packages in a way that does not have a negative impact on the environment and does not risk the safety of humanity on earth.
And since we’re a cooking school and food is the core of what we do, we will discuss what changes could be made on food packaging in order for it to be eco-friendly.
Sugar cane fibers are now being used in packaging and it provide durability, strength and is totally an environment friendly method
Corn plant is another amazing material to use in packaging especially because when decomposed it turns into water and carbon dioxide.
Kraft paper, brown paper or butcher’s paper, the materials used in making this type of bags or packaging are planet based it’s also recyclable and compostable which makes it eco-friendly.
Also biodegradable items could be used as it does have a less negative impact on the environment.
Big brands now are starting to take the issue of packaging negative impact on the environment more seriously and steps are being taken to share the social responsibility in making changes and reforms.
For example Starbucks is taking steps since the 90th to make changes, coming up with a solution to avoid double cupping, they switched to paper cups, and always encouraged their customers by different means to use their own cups, also in 2013 they launched the reusable cup program, it’s all steps that are being taken for a better more healthier environment.
Also recently Coca Cola did partner with Paboco to develop a paper bottle instead of the plastic one.
They will run it into test to make sure of its sustainability and if it did make it this will be a huge change on the future of packaging and a big step on the elimination of plastic packaging.
This step by Coca Cola was mainly taken because it was pointed to as the world’s number 1 contributor of plastic waste.
Of course plastic or other ways of packaging that aren’t Eco-friendly are more cost efficient production wise, and we couldn’t argue that a main driver for many industries is generating revenue but more importantly is being sustainable, and since sustainability is more being driven from the customer that do consume a product over and over again, big brands realized that it’s very important to take steps towards sharing social responsibility and helping solving issues even if it means it’s going to add a little bit more cost, as this they might be able to take but they can’t risk sustainability.
In conclusion packaging does affect us on a daily basis, but most importantly it does affect the environment, so changes towards eco friendly packaging must be made, and it’s no longer just the responsibility of the consumer it’s a shared responsibility between us and the different brands that are now more than ever are willing to invest real amount of money towards solving this issue and that is going to change the future of packaging.